Tag Archives: BBC


Space Peas and Holy Toast: Why Pattern Recognition is Humanity’s Killer App

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

People are strange. We look for faces and animals in clouds, we spot Michael Jackson in a greasy roasting dish, and we pay tens of thousands of dollars for pieces of toast that resemble the Virgin Mary (personally, I think it looks more like Michael Jackson, but I admit that I am not a qualified toast inspector).

This compulsion to find meaningful images in random …

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Banking on one another: Can the crowd save itself from the banks?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

First they lend too much, cause a financial meltdown and need bailing out. Now they don’t lend enough (unless share-options and fat bonuses count as lending). As any former Wall St inhabitant, election-year politician or self-respecting Hollywood celebrity will tell you: banks are pure evil.

Personally, I quite like the banking system as a whole. Swiping a little plastic …

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Crowded planet: desperately seeking sustainability

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

According to the latest UN figures , there are now over 7 billion people living on planet earth. In response, the world’s media has exploded with dire predictions of famine, war and climate disaster (and some great info-graphics ). Of course, in Finland over-population is hardly a major problem (except for reindeer and right-wing politicians ). But we’re probably as …

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Paying the price for Google Maps?

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

Online cartographers were stunned last week when Google announced plans to charge for the use of the Google Maps API. As of next year, web developers will have to navigate prices of $4 per 1000 map loads. So, is this the “end of the road” for the dozens (probably hundreds) of crowdsourced mapping projects that rely on Google’s services? Not exactly: small sites – …

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Crime-sourcing: the dark side of the crowd

Posted on by Ville Miettinen

What do you do if your bank account gets hacked? Option 1: cancel your credit cards, have a couple of drinks and promise to stop opening emails from long lost cousins based in Nigeria. Option 2: take it personally, put on some dark sunglasses and go after the hackers.

Misha Glenny chose option 2, and then spent over two years infiltrating the murky world of cyber-crime. He …

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